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  1. ITV Report

New Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveals 'deeply personal' connection to NHS in first speech

Matt Hancock delivers his first speech as Health Secretary. Credit: ITV News

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has promised to fight for NHS staff in his first speech as Health Secretary.

His visit to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds came a few days weeks after he was promoted to replace Jeremy Hunt.

The former Culture Secretary announced £487m will be spent on improving NHS technology and reducing staff workload.

Mr Hancock talks to staff at the West Suffolk Hospital. Credit: ITV News

Addressing staff at West Suffolk, he stressed the importance of the contribution NHS workers make every day.

"I promise you this, I will keep listening to and learning from the 3.1 million people who dedicate their lives to caring for the health of others," he said.

"I pay tribute to your service. I value you, I admire you, I'll fight for you and I'll champion you."

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Mr Hancock also took the opportunity to publicly thank staff at Southmead Hospital in Bristol who he says "saved his sister's life" after she hit her head while competing at the Badminton Horse Trials.

Professional rider Emily Gilruth, 41, was in a coma for four days following the incident in May last year.

"My commitment to the health service and the fundamental principles that underpin it is not just professional, it is deeply personal," said Mr Hancock.

"I want to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to the brilliant team at Southmead for all that they did. I love my sister and the NHS saved her life.

"So when I say I love the NHS, I mean it."